was one of the largest Jewish centers in Poland/Galicia, and, as such, needs no
introduction. In 1938, kraków's Jewish population numbered over 60,000, or about
25% of the city's total population of 237,000. In 1948, the post-holocaust
Jewish population had been decimated to about 5,900, and by 1978, the number had
dwindled to a mere 600.
we trace and identify the original pre-war population? What do we know about
them? Is it possible to trace their ancestors, or are their names now lost
forever? This website will hopefully answer some of these questions, and should
provide you with the resources needed for tracing your ancestors.
website is not meant to provide a comprehensive historical account of the Jews
in kraków, their culture, their enormous Talmudic contribution, or their
decimation during the Shoah ...there are numerous books on these topics. Rather,
this website is intended to provide the reader with data, ...hopefully lots of
data, ...data that can be used to trace one's ancestry. In fact, this site already has pointers to over 150,000 individuals from kraków, spanning a
period of more than 2 centuries. Since many of these records also have secondary
references listing the names of parents, spouses or children, the total number
of individuals probably exceeds 200,000!
order for these records to grow, your input is needed. We would welcome any list
comprising 30 or more Jewish names from kraków ...be it members of a society, a
synagogue committee, or a sports club. Although such lists may not directly
contribute to genealogical research, they do provide us with a better
perspective of the lives of our ancestors. Also, they at least provide a date at
which the individual was known to be alive.
of Terms: In 1335, Casimir the Great established the town of Kazimierz
specifically for Jews. His benevolence towards the Jews supposedly was based on
his love for a Jewish girl Esther, who - according to the same legend - lived at
46 Ulica Krakowska in kraków. Although Kazimierz was originally a separate and
independent city, it later became incorporated into kraków. The original area of
Kazimierz, however, remained a Jewish district and was even called the
Judenstadt. Although Jews were compelled to live there, Kazimierz was not really
a ghetto. The actual Jewish ghetto was established much later - during World War
II - in Podgorze, a southern suburb of kraków on the other side of the Vistula
The Rema synagogue (acronym for Rabbi Moses Isserles) is
located in Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of kraków, and was
founded in 1553. The Rema was considered to be the 'Maimonides of
Polish Jewry' and was known for his universal outlook, his
extensive Talmudic and secular knowledge, his manner of study,
and his humility. His published works included treatises on halakhah,
philosophy, kabbalah, homiletics, and science.
The adjacent Rema cemetery was used until 1799, and
contains the graves of the Rema and his family. (Click here to
see eminent burials in the Rema Cemetery). Prior to World
War II, thousands of Polish Jews visited his grave every year on
the anniversary of his death. After the war, the cemetery was
restored and pieces of broken headstones which could not be
matched were used to make a memorial cemetery wall.
Here are images
of the Rema Shul.
Shul Members - 1939
below lists the male members of the Izaaka (or Isaac) Synagogue
in Kraków for the year 1939. Follow this link to see a picture of
(Data entered by J.
Schamroth. Source material: Sprinzak Library, Jerusalem)
DR. WETSTEIN Ignacy
LEBENHEIM Maks - Inz.
MARKOWICZ Artur - Dr.
POSS Ferdynand - Inz.
PROKESCH Zygmund - Inz.
SPIERER Oskar - Aptekarz
STERN Hirsch Dawid
WASSERLAUF S. Dr.
Cards by Szymon Balicer
More Balicer portraits can be seen in the Kraków
Album. Here is a link to the Balicer page.
Should you have any Balicer portraits that you wish to donate to this site, please contact Eilat Gordin Levitan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who Are We?
Eilat has adopted the kraków page and wishes to dedicate her contributions to her mother-in-law Ilana Levitan Z"L, her first cousin Uri Helberg Z"L, and her second cousin Roman Rakower Z"L, who were all very involved in kraków geneaology work. Ilana was the daughter of Yechiel Zadok ROSENBLUM and Ester, daughter of Shmuel and Sarah Helberg. Sarah was the daughter of Szymon RAKOWER and Golda nee LEBENHEIM, granddaughter of Elias RAKOWER and Hindy LEWY, who were also the great grandparents of Roman Rakower. Eilat currently works on translating Yitzkor books and adding to her other website (www.eilatgordinlevitan.com), which also contains a page for kraków. If you have any pictures or other information to contribute, please email Eilat at email@example.com.
Robert is the Director of the Kraków Archives in Ul. Grodzka, Kraków.
Together with his staff, he has provided this Website with a lot of new,
original material. Any researcher going to Kraków is advised to contact him.
Judie - a descendant of the FENDLER and EBERSOHN families from kraków -
was one of the first genealogists to get involved in the collection of genealogical records from kraków. She is responsible for providing
most of the available vital records indices from kraków. Judie lives in New
Descended from the HIRSCHBERG family from kraków, Dan maintains his own
kraków site which has a powerful search engine and is the place where new
research, surname inferences etc is done. He is our expert on early kraków
records. Dan is a professor in the ICS Department at the University of
California, Irvine, with research interests in the theory of design and
analysis of algorithms.
A Holocaust survivor, and descended from the GRAJOWER family from
kraków. Miriam lives closenext to Tel Aviv, Israel. Miriam maintains a close
working relationship with the kraków Archives and coordinates joint projects
The original WebMaster for the kraków site (until 2005). Descended
from the SCHAMROTH family from kraków. When not involved in genealogy, he is a dermatologic
surgeon living outside Jerusalem, Israel.
site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen,
Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy.
If you have been aided in your
research by this site and wish to further our
mission of preserving our
history for future generations, your
is greatly appreciated.
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Compiled by Eilat Gordin Levitan.
Updated February 1, 2020
Copyright © 2007 Eilat Gordin Levitan (firstname.lastname@example.org).